Efficiency Manitoba supports Merit Functional Foods’ new energy-efficient facility: significant energy and cost savings achieved

Merit Functional Foods has recently completed construction on a new state-of-the-art non-GMO pea and canola production facility at 400 Goldenrod Drive in Winnipeg. With support from Efficiency Manitoba, this 94,000 square foot facility has delivered significant energy and cost savings.

Technical expertise and financial incentives provided by Efficiency Manitoba are estimated to yield the facility 8.16 GWh (gigawatt-hours) of electricity savings and 1.63 million m3 (cubic metres) of natural gas savings annually. These achievements contribute significantly to Efficiency Manitoba’s annual electricity and natural gas savings targets. The decrease in natural gas consumption will result in reduced greenhouse gas emissions of over 3,000 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) annually. By 2030, this will result in persisting cumulative reductions of over 24,000 tonnes of CO2e.

Reducing energy consumption in Manitoba delays energy infrastructure investment requirements, delivering overall energy rate benefits to all Manitobans.

Efficiency Manitoba provided a total of $1.25 million in incentives across nine incentive applications. These incentives helped with the financial business case to incorporate energy-efficient technologies and strategies into the facility. Incentives reduced the paybacks on the incremental costs of the upgrades to less than two years, and Merit Functional Foods will see annual expected utility bill reductions of $800,000, persisting for years into the future. The decision to invest in energy efficiency became an easy one with Efficiency Manitoba’s support.

“Energy efficiency was a focus area for Merit Functional Foods as we set out to design a facility with sustainable manufacturing,” said Ryan Bracken, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Merit Functional Foods. “We are proud to partner with Efficiency Manitoba on this project as it supports our goal of reducing environmental impact by operating with sustainable and renewable energy sources for years to come.”

Efficiency Manitoba supported eight major processing-related energy efficiency opportunities. The most significant electricity savings are attributed to the pump and fan systems installed with variable speed drive controls, which optimize the air flow rates based on process requirements. Additional process-related savings came from optimizing the facility’s refrigeration and compressed air systems.

The majority of the natural gas savings are achieved through implementing a heat recovery option associated with three large dryers. Merit Functional Foods also received support to complete a building energy model to help incorporate energy efficiency into their design and construction process. Through this process, they will also realize energy savings through the installation of energy-efficient lighting, improved heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems, and a high-performance building envelope.

“Completing energy efficiency projects of this magnitude are vital to our province’s efforts in reducing energy consumption, mitigating the impacts of climate change on the environment, and supporting economic growth,” said Minister of Environment, Climate and Parks and Minister responsible for Efficiency Manitoba Jeff Wharton. “I commend Merit Functional Foods and Efficiency Manitoba on their work together and encourage others to explore energy efficiency opportunities. Working together contributes to a healthier, greener future for Manitoba.”

“The incentives and technical expertise provided to Merit Functional Foods illustrates our commitment to achieving long-term cost-effective energy savings,” said Colleen Kuruluk, Chief Executive Officer of Efficiency Manitoba. “We’re here to provide all Manitobans with resources to take on energy-saving projects, no matter how large or small.”

For more information, please email us at media@efficiencyMB.ca.

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